Album Review: Fallen Arches – Pen To Paper

Fallen Arches 'Pen to Paper' cover artwork

Fallen Arches is the performing name of singer/songwriter Colin Bell, I’ll be talking about his debut Album ‘Pen To Paper’ today.

‘Burn Bright’ almost immediately shows off the vocal talents of Fallen Arches, he makes a song sound almost bring even when the content isn’t necessarily upbeat. That being said the song does have a distinctly melancholic edge to it, but I like that in a song. I don’t want to just focus on his powerful voice however, he also shows off successfully his guitar playing skill and it all comes together to create a lovely introduction to ‘Pen To Paper’

‘Lost At Sea’ another track that blends hopefulness with melancholy and really shows a depth to Fallen Arches songwriting ability, after all with the right chords or words anyone can make a sad sounding song but it’s hard to make something like this that’s layered and more nuanced,

‘Seasons Greetings’ far more unambiguous than the others, I was planning to say more obviously cheerful as well until the line ‘your parents are breaking up’ which dashed the happy nostalgia and turned things on its head, it was really clever and its rare i’m surprised by a song like this one, usually you can tell the type of song early on but at least for me this one did a 180 degree flip. But I really liked it nonetheless and got the little hook stuck in my head.

‘Foreign Noises’ continues the trend of being soft, acoustic and tinged with sadness, this song also contains a brilliant turn of phrase, but I’ll let you listen and hear it for yourself. It builds well on the songs that came before it, and continues the ongoing feelings throughout the entire album. I can’t say for certain, not being too familiar with him but I sense that this album was something of a catharsis for Fallen Arches.

‘Pen To Paper’ I have this thing about title tracks, I feel that they need to be good, not necessarily the best on an album but good otherwise it kinda spoils the album as a whole and thus far I haven’t been let down because this track was great, opening with a tight little guitar intro, before the vocals wash over everything. I really like Fallen Arches voice, I also like that he made the choice to keep his accent. A Lot of Scottish singers kinda push it away to be more commercially successful even though it literally makes a song so much more authentic and sometimes for sure better when sung in a native accent.

‘Eggshells’ has perhaps my favourite opening on the album, something about the way it just kinda radiates from the speakers to your ears just suits me well. Sometimes I find it hard to listen to the words being spoken when I’m doing reviews, I listen to the song as a whole and don’t break it down as much as I maybe should but I like the way Fallen Arches writes, I like the phrases in his songs.

‘Seventeen’ is another really good track on an album jam packed full of them, Fallen Arches is a true master of morose and bitter sweet music, I like sad songs so its ideal for me, I think that if you can’t listen to a sad song and come away from it a better person then you might need to take a look at yourself. Sad music isn’t just for feeling sad, its for feeling empathy and just for feeling. All of the songs on this album so far resonate well with me, this one especially.

‘Let It All Out’ is an excellent closer, especially to the whole emotional experience of ‘Pen To Paper’ and it certainly has an amazing hook for a chorus that I’m sure will be stuck in my head for days. Again I’m impressed by the vocals on Fallen Arches, he has a very pronounced voice that suits his music perfectly.

So that’s what I thought about ‘Pen To Paper’ by Fallen Arches and if you want to get yourself a copy then check it out on Bandcamp, and you can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


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